04/25/2010 11:00PM

Belmont possible for Alphie's Bet


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Trainer Alexis Barba was on the first leg of a flight from Los Angeles to Louisville when her stable won its richest prize of the year in Saturday's $200,000 Snow Chief Stakes.

Alphie's Bet, who was considered for Saturday's Kentucky Derby until he finished sixth in the Santa Anita Derby on April 3, dominated the Snow Chief Stakes for statebred 3-year-olds, his second stakes win of the year.

"I'm sorry I missed it," Barba said from the Atlanta airport.

The win has given Barba and owners Peter Johnson and breeder Teresa McWilliams a reason to consider the Belmont Stakes over 1 1/2 miles on June 5. "We need to collect our thoughts, but it's possible," Barba said of the third leg of the Triple Crown.

Alphie's Bet, the 3-5 favorite, rallied from the back of a field of eight to win the Snow Chief Stakes by 2 1/4 lengths over 18-1 Working Capital. Alphie's Bet finished 1 1/8 miles in 1:51.15. Winning jockey Mike Smith is convinced that Alphie's Bet, a winner of 3 of 7 starts and $291,320, can show further improvement.

"He's still a big, young boy and still has a lot of play in him," Smith said. "He's hasn't really gotten serious about it yet. He figuring it out race by race, and I think down the road they might have a really nice colt."

Compari's ailment minor

Compari, the winner of six consecutive races, was withdrawn from Sunday's Grade 3 Inglewood Handicap because of swelling in an ankle, co-owner John Harris said on Sunday morning.

Harris said he was hopeful that Compari would not face a significant spell on the sidelines. Compari was the morning-line favorite in the Inglewood.

"I think the outlook is excellent," he said. "The horse is not lame. We didn't feel it was right to run a horse at 3-5 that had a minor defect."

Also owned by John Nicoletti and Don Valpredo and trained by Marty Jones, Compari, 4, has won 6 of 7 starts and $422,640. He won three stakes at the Santa Anita meeting earlier this year - the Sensational Star and Crystal Water handicaps for statebreds and the Grade 2 Arcadia Handicap on April 3.

The Inglewood was won by Gallant Son, his first graded stakes victory. Trainer Frank Lucarelli said the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile on May 31 is a possible next start.